The Boston Red Sox got their fireworks display out of the way Tuesday. On Wednesday, they let their pitching carry the day.
Eduardo Rodriguez blanked the Washington Nationals over six innings and the bullpen did the rest en route to a 3-0 win in a matinee series finale at Nationals Park.
Neither team scored through the first six frames, but Boston eked out a pair of runs in the seventh that helped the club clinch a series sweep over the Nationals and maintain its lead in the American League East.
The Red Sox improve to 59-29 with the win, while Washington falls to 42-43.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
There were no pyrotechnics at the plate on this July 4th, as both teams mustered a total of three runs on 15 hits. Rodriguez and three Boston relievers combined for a six-hit shutout to complete the series sweep in D.C.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez came up clutch for the Red Sox with one of his best outings of the season.
The 25-year-old left-hander scattered just three hits over six scoreless innings in his first career start against the Nationals, issuing one walk while striking out six.
Rodriguez threw 54 of his 84 total pitches for strikes and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced, lowering his season ERA from 4.11 to 3.84 en route to picking up his 10th win, which matches a career high he set during his rookie season.
— Matt Barnes relieved Rodriguez in the seventh, allowing one hit and striking out a batter in a scoreless frame.
— Joe Kelly struck out two of the three batters he faced in a clean eighth inning.
— Craig Kimbrel surrendered two hits in the ninth inning but also recorded a strikeout while picking up his 26th save of the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox finally broke through in the seventh inning by capitalizing on the Nationals’ mistakes.
Rafael Devers plated the first run, scoring from third base on a Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly after Adam Eaton’s throw from third base skipped away from catcher Pedro Severino.
Eduardo Nunez later scored from third base on a Ryan Madson wild pitch to put Boston ahead 2-0.
— Bradley ripped an RBI double in the ninth inning that scored Nunez from first and gave Kimbrel an insurance run entering the bottom of the ninth.
Bradley finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, giving him eight RBIs in his last eight games.
— Boston’s best hitters stayed hot Wednesday, as Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez each tallied two hits.
Devers also recorded two hits and got the Red Sox’s rally started in the seventh inning with a lead-off double.
— Nunez went 2-for-4 and scored two of Boston’s three runs.
— Steve Pearce cooled off at the plate, going 0-for-4 after his big night Tuesday.
— Blake Swihart earned a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning and drew a walk.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Chris Sale loves America, folks.
The Red Sox will enjoy an off day Thursday before traveling to Kansas City on Friday to begin a three-game series against the Royals. Chris Sale will oppose Jason Hammel in the series opener, which is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.